Top Gun: Maverick wasn’t what I was expecting but was none the less enjoyable for that.
We know from the now 2 year old ‘making of’ trailers how much effort went into capturing the real life flying scenes but for me the visual spectacle didn’t translate to the big screen significantly more than the equivalent scenes from the original.
What did unexpectedly move me was the maturity of the story elements around the characters. Top Gun was almost a coming of age movie about internal conflicts but TG2, rather like Trainspotting 2 finds new material in the things that matter to its now older and somewhat wiser protagonists. Managing relationships in a new mindset with less bravado but more recognition and acceptance of oneself and others and knowing that sometimes we just don’t know.
Yes, the plot may be ridiculous and we can see the manipulations coming but nevertheless I found myself welling up at those moments of mass audience acknowledgement of some of life’s truths and values. Hard work, honesty, tact, camaraderie, courage, compromise, humbleness, mutual respect and understanding.
We may not know the answers but perhaps the message is that sometimes just trusting our instincts is more valuable than thinking, conveyed in the somewhat hackneyed but pithy line:
Like a son, TG2 may inherit some of its forebear’s characteristics but is an entity of its own. Enjoy the ride.